Ground and Surface Water: What's the Difference?

One of these misconceptions is the difference between ground and surface water. Although the difference might seem fairly obvious, given how complex the earth’s water system is the difference ends up being a little complicated—not to mention important—especially if you’re thinking of drilling a well.

What’s the difference between ground and surface water?
When a drilling contractor drills a well near Williams Lake, British Columbia for example, the hole that he drills can potentially tap into very different kinds of water: surface or groundwater. All water on the earth is constantly moving (even if some of it is moving slowly). Surface water is, like the name suggests, the water that you find on the surface of the earth, in the actual lake at Williams Lake, or the water that has seeped into the first layer of the ground. Because it’s closer to the surface of the earth, its levels vary with the seasons and weather. It evaporates and condenses; it comes with heavy rains and leaves with droughts.

Groundwater, on the other hand, is much further down. It’s part of what’s known as a “confined aquifier,” that is more or less cut off from the surface water cycles (though they are, ultimately, recharged by surface water, it only happens slowly). Groundwater has been naturally filtered of most pathogens, unlike surface water, which may have any chemical or other contaminant in it, depending on the circumstances.

Are ground and surface water used for different purposes?
If you’re doing any well drilling (or your contractor is) in the 100 Mile House or Williams Lake areas, it’s essential to know the difference between ground and surface water as they’re used for very different purposes. Because the earth naturally purifies groundwater, it’s typically used for household tasks like drinking, washing and cooking. Surface water, on the other hand, is better used for tasks that require large quantities of water, like agricultural irrigation or by hydroelectric energy plants. Not all water is right for any purpose so it’s essential that a professional do your drilling.

When you hire a well drilling contractor from J.R. Drilling Central Limited Partnership, our experts can take you through every step of the drilling process to make sure that your water is safe and consistent. Contact us today if you’re in the 100 Mile House or Williams Lake areas to find out more about how we can help you.

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